Systemic immunomodulatory effects of combinatorial treatment of thalidomide and dexamethasone on T cells and other immune cells

Eun Jee Kim, Joon Ye Kim, Hoon Young Choi, Hyojung Lee, Juhan Lee, Myoung Soo Kim, Yu Seun Kim, Kyu Ha Huh, Beom Seok Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: In organ transplantation, the need for immune modulation rather than immune suppression has been emphasized. In this study, we investigated whether combinatorial treatments of with thalidomide (TM) and dexamethasone (DX) might be new approaches to induce systemic immunomodulation on T cells and other immune cells that regulate the expression of co-inhibitory molecules. Materials and Methods: Naïve splenic T cells from C57BL/6 mice were sort-purified and cultured in vitro for CD4+ T cell proliferation and regulatory T cell (Treg) conversion in the presence of TM or/and DX. Expression of cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated antigen-4 (CTLA-4) and programmed death-1 (PD-1) in proliferated and converted T cells was quantified by flow cytometry. We also quantified in vivo expression of CTLA-4 and PD-1 on splenic CD4+ T cells and other immune cells isolated from TM-or/and DX-treated mice. Mixed lymphocytes reactions (MLR) were performed to evaluate the capacity of immune cells in carrying out immune responses. Results: CTLA-4 expressions in effector T cells in vivo and in Tregs in vivo/vitro significantly increased upon TM/DX combinatorial treatment. Corresponding to increased CTLA-4 expression in T cells, the expression of ligand molecules for CTLA-4 significantly increased in splenic dendritic cells in TM/DX-treated groups. In addition, MLR results demonstrated that splenocytes isolated from TM/DX-treated mice significantly suppressed the proliferation of T cells isolated from other strains. Conclusion: Based on these results, we suggest that TM/DX combinatorial treatments might be efficient immunomodulatory methods for regulating T cell immunity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-148
Number of pages12
JournalYonsei medical journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Feb

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by a grant the Korea Health Technology R&D Project through the Korea Health Industry Development Institute (KHIDI), funded by the Ministry of Health & Welfare, Republic of Korea (grant number: HI18C0629). This study was also supported by a faculty research grant of Yonsei University College of Medicine (6-2018-0106) and by a research grant from the Korean Society for Transplantation (161028).

Publisher Copyright:
© Yonsei University College of Medicine 2021.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)


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